At the start of every year we tell ourselves that this year we are going to be better and smarter about our finances. We always begin with the positive note but somewhere along the way, we end up not sticking to our New Year resolutions. However, sticking to your 2014 financial resolutions does not have to be as difficult as losing holiday weight.

Our financial ability to support ourselves or our family affect the decisions we make in life and even to some extend our level of happiness. According to recent survey released by Bayt and YouGov, 52% of people in Saudi Arabia are satisfied with their ability to lead a stable financial life. According to another survey released at beginning of 2013 by Bayt, it revealed that the top most personal resolution for 2013 was saving more money for people in the Middle East and North Africa.

Therefore take some timeout, sit down and think about what you wish to achieve financially this year. Pay off debt, buy a new car, save or add to your retirement fund. Whatever your aim may be, consider a few of the pointers below to help you get going.

Resolution management

Be realistic, because of the excitement surrounding New Year, we sometimes get carried away with our resolutions. We tend to overlook our realistic abilities to achieve them and can end up setting unachievable goals. So be realistic about them and set goals which can be attainted. For example if you have a personal loan which is above your annual salary than expecting to pay it all off before the end 2014 is not exactly viable. It could also mean hurting your motivation to attain your goals as impossible targets tend to do that.

Be specific with your resolutions. This will help you make a game plan on how to achieve it and set deadlines. Also while making a plan it will give you an idea of whether or not they are achievable. For instance if you are planning on saving for your retirement this year, decide based on your budget, exactly how many riyals you need to save each month to reach your total yearly target. Or if you are looking to pay off a large debt, be specific on the exact amount by determining “this year I will pay off SAR 25,000 of my SAR 50,000 credit card debt.”

Be relevant when it comes to your resolutions. There is no pointing in having financial resolutions which are not as important compared to other goals. For example instead putting money aside for buying a new expensive gadget, use that money to get rid of some of your credit card debt.

Little tricks to staying on track

Besides having the right mind set, there are a few tricks which can keep you on track with your financial resolutions this year. Such as, use social media to keep posted on latest deals. If there are brands, stores and banks you are loyal to, follow them on Facebook and twitter especially now with companies realizing the power of social media and becoming more accessible to their customers. Also, most hot deals and discounts are immediately promoted on twitter and Facebook accounts. This way you will remain constantly informed and can benefit from any deals around.

However watch out for unnecessary spending. Just because you are aware of sales or discounts, does not mean you need to go spend. Only consider spending when you feel like the item or service is necessary.

Another trick to keep on track with your financial resolutions is to make automatic payments especially if you are not a strong decision maker. Set up your account with the bank in such a way that certain payments or savings such as retirement savings or quarterly utility payments are removed automatically before you have to make the decision.

Always compare before buying especially for those things your regularly spend on. It may be anything from technological buys to your insurance policies. For example, you have to renew your motor insurance every year but this doesn’t mean you have to keep renewing with the same insurance company again and again. The same applies to health insurance as well. As a result comparing the products in the market will allow you to benefit from the best deals around.